Long Beach State star point guard Casper Ware had 25 points on Thursday night to lead the 49ers to a 61-55 comeback win over visiting Cal Poly at Walter Pyramid.
With the victory, first-place Long Beach State (18-10, 12-2) clinched the regular-season Big West Conference championship, and with it, the top seed heading into the conference tournament, which will be held from March 10-12 in Anaheim.
The second-place Mustangs (14-13, 9-5) are now three games back of the 49ers with two league games to play.
Cal Poly, which is No. 1 in the nation in 3-point shooting defense, holding opponents to 26.6 percent on the year, fell victim to an 8-for-20, 40-percent performance by the 49ers on Thursday, including Ware’s 5-for-10 showing from beyond the arc.
The Mustangs took a 50-48 lead on a clutch Shawn Lewis 3-pointer with 4:37 remaining in regulation, but Ware and teammate Greg Plater drilled back-to-back 3s of their own to put the 49ers back up, 54-50, with 3:25 left.
Larry Anderson added 13 points for Long Beach State, which has now won seven games in a row.
Chris O’Brien had a career-high 16 points to pace Cal Poly from his guard spot. Freshman point guard Maliik Love had 10 points and four rebounds for the Mustangs, and center Will Donahue pulled down 10 rebounds to go with nine points.
SWIMMINGMountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships
The Mustangs’ Lacey Buck twice broke the Cal Poly record in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing second in the event at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach.
In the evening finals, Buck posted a time of 4 minutes, 50.57 seconds, bettering the 4:50.72 mark she’d clocked in the morning prelims and surpassing the national “B” standard in the event.
Teammate Kylie France placed third in the event in 4:55.07.
Another school record fell in the 50 freestyle, where Amy Morales lowered her own school standard with a sixth-place finish of 23.17 seconds in the finals.
After seven events, the Cal Poly women are in third place among nine teams. Seven more events will take place today, the third installment of the four-day competition.
SOFTBALLNational letter of intent signing
Cal Poly announced it has signed Kerman High right-handed pitcher Jordan Yates to a national letter of intent, and that she’s expected to join the program for the 2012 season.
Yates, a three-time all-North Sequoia League honoree, finished her junior season last year with a 16-4 record, a 0.70 ERA in 1292⁄3 innings, and 213 strikeouts against just 20 walks.